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Charlotte Looks to Rebound Versus Orlando

By James Thomas, 04/06/17, 7:30AM EDT


After a frustrating season-opening loss to the Battery, the Independence look to get some points when they travel to Orlando this weekend.

Charlotte (N.C.) — The Charlotte Independence (0-0-1) take on Orlando City B (1-0-2) this Saturday, April 8th for the first away fixture of Charlotte’s 2017 season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM ET at Orlando City Stadium.

The Independence is coming off a 2-0 loss to Southern Derby rival Charleston Battery in the 2017 season opener. After a scoreless first-half, forward, Romario Williams netted the match’s first goal in the 70th minute. Minutes later, defender, Forrest Lasso headed home his second goal in as many weeks to propel him to a USL Team of the Week honor.

After being idle for week one of USL play and only one game into the season, the Independence sit at the bottom of the table on zero points. However, Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries still believes his team is full of confidence heading into the matchup with Orlando.

“I think there is a certain amount of frustration in wanting to set things right knowing that on the day, a couple plays turned the game around,” said Jeffries. “When you get through the first game, you realize that we're still a club that moves well and competes well and makes the game difficult for others. I do feel like we head to Orlando knowing that we want to play well and extend the stretch out and play well for the full 90 [minutes].”

Orlando is coming off their first win of the season as they defeated Toronto FC II 3-1 on Tuesday night. Former Independence and Clemson Tiger midfielder Paul Clowes scored his first professional career goal in the 16th minute for the Orlando side. After Toronto equalized in the 30th minute. Hadji Barry and Lewis Neal tacked on two second-half goals for Orlando to put the Lions ahead for good.   

In 2016, Orlando and Charlotte split the season series with both teams getting four points in three games. The last time the teams faced each other, Charlotte shutout Orlando in a 4-0 victory on Wednesday, August 17th.

Saturday’s game will be the first of a three-game series between Charlotte and Orlando with the next two games being at Orlando on Saturday, May 27th and at the Sportsplex at Matthew on Saturday, August 19th. 

Fans can tune into Saturday’s game by watching live on the Antenna TV Network (OTA 18.2, Spectrum Channel 1261) or via the USL Match Center. Kickoff is at 7:30 PM ET.